THE old adage of "always the bridesmaid, never the bride" was one that seemed to follow this current crop of the Kerry senior badminton squad for many years as they did battle in the Munster senior team event for the prestigious Butterfield Cup, which was first contested in 1947, and even then Kerry were second best to Cork.
Kerry did win the title in 1996 and were awarded the title by Munster Council in 2007 due to a rule infringement by Cork but that decision was of scant consolation to the then Kerry panel.
For many years past this current crop of players came home with silver medals and wondered would that colour ever turn to gold. Well, at long last the colour turned to gold after Kerry annexed the Butterfield Cup last Sunday in Cork.
With Kerry, Cork and Waterford competing first blood went to the Rebels as they defeated the Decies side by 5-4. It was the Kingdom's turn then to take on the Waterford side who had the advantage of that first encounter against Cork and they certainly put it up to the Kingdom by taking a 3-0 lead.
The Kerry ladies started the great comeback and eventually the Kingdom overcame Waterford 5-4, the same scoreline as the Cork match.
Out of nine ties the winner was the side who reached the magical five games won first. The Rebels set the pace by winning both singles with Kerry's Tom Bourke unlucky to lose out on a close three set encounter.
Cork made it 3-0 by winning first mens as Kerry's Gio Gaudino and Colm Kelly lost 21-18, 23-21 and certainly at this point things were not looking good for the Kingdom but the Kerry resurgence came quick and fast with Kerry first ladies pairing of Edel Broderick and Ciara O'Connor starting the Kerry fight back as they won in the two sets to make it 3-1.
This win was followed by Kerry's second ladies pairing of Helen Twomey and Eileen O'Connor and it was their vast experience that showed as they won 21-19; 21-19 and it was now 3-2.
Kerry's second mens pairing of Eric Nelligan and Sean Murphy rose to the occasion and levelled the tie at 3-3 by capturing a heart stopping third set by 21-19.
The first mixed tie was a cracker with Helen Twomey and Tom Bourke losing the opening set by 21-18 to Cork bit rebounding in sets 2 and 3 as they nosed the Kingdom in front for the first time, 4-3, by winning 21-18, 21-19.
Two games remaining and the Kingdom now in front by 4-3 and one win needed to capture that elusive trophy. In both mixed ties remaining it was Mary Falvey and Eric Nelligan representing Kerry at second mixed and Ciara O'Connor with Colm Kelly at third mixed.
It was fitting and proper that the honour of clinching this wonderful victory for Kerry in a two-set victory by 21-16; 21-11 fell to this second mixed pairing as Mrs. Falvey was a vital member of that 1996 winning team with Eileen O'Connor being the only other current member of that winning 1996 squad.
With victory ensured the result of the other mixed tie was academic as Kerry had captured that magical fifth game.
This was an excellent achievement by this Kerry team and their outstanding manger Miss Marie Maher who was so proud of her squad.
The Kerry winning Butterfield Cup team of 2012-2013 was Helen Twomey, Mary Falvey, Eileen O'Connor, Edel Broderick, Ciara O'Connor, Tom Bourke, Gio Gaudino, Eric Nelligan, Colm Kelly and Sean Murphy. Team manager is Maria Maher.
Moyvane Tournament THE Newtownsandes CoOp sponsored Moyvane Invitation Badminton tournament was held in Moyvane last Sunday. Over 80 players from all clubs in the county competed in this highly contested tournament. RESULTS Division 5: Elaine Dillon Listowel and Timmy O'Flaherty Moyvane defeated Michelle Corridan Moyvane and Tim O'Flaherty (Tralee) 21/10, 21/15. Ladies Division 5 plate: Eileen Roche Moyvane and Michelle Beazley Kingdom (Castleisland) defeated Catriona Comerford Listowel and Fiona Casey Ballyheigue 30/26. Mens Plate division 5: Timmy Larkin Moyvane and Niall Keane Stack Listowel defeated Noel Carroll Ballyheigue and Liam Corridan Moyvane 30/18. Division 4: Francine Collins Moyvane and Jason Russell County (Tralee) defeated Krystle Crowley Moyvane and Diarmuid Fitzmaurice Moyvane 21/16, 21/23, 21/19. Division 4 plate ladies: Helen Browne Moyvane and Mgt. Healy Listowel defeated Eleanor Sheehan and Susan O'Connell Sneem 30/22. Men's division 4 plate: Jer O'Connor Killarney and James Sheehan Listowel defeated Joe Coulson Moyvane and Krishna Bhandani Annascaul 30/19. Division 3: Fiona Boyle County and Dermot Keane Moyvane defeated Carmel Hudson Moyvane and Patsy O'Connor Ballyheigue 21/9, 21/18. Division 2: Catherine Murphy Kingdom and Denis Buckley Moyvane defeated Elaine Hudson Moyvane and Timmy Griffin Ballyheigue 21/13, 21/18.
All clubs are requested to have any outstanding games in the Leagues competition completed before Christmas as the finals are fixed for Junuary 9 in the Presentation Gym, Tralee.
The draw for the Sweeney's Costcutters mixed leagues competitions have been distributed to clubs with the first rounds to be completed by December 21. All clubs are requested to comply by the closing date for each round.
The Kerry executive wish all involved in Kerry Badminton, club officers, players, supporters and the media a happy Christmas and a peaceful, successful 2013.